Samsung Crescent Racing's John Hopkins will miss this weekend's Cadwell Park round of the British Superbike Championship, but the effect on his championship hopes should be negligible.Hopkins suffered injuries to three fingers on his right hand in a crash aboard the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R800 during the wet Saturday practice for the Czech Grand Prix in Brno. Hopkins stayed for the race, then flew back to California for surgery on the third finger of his right hand to correct a break and dislocation. He also broke his first and second fingers, but those injuries didn't require surgery. Hopkins' doctors advised him to not take part in this weekend's ninth round of the championship.
The decision was a wise one considering the nature of Cadwell Park. The track's signature feature is 'the Mountain', where bikes frequently get airborne. The rest of the 2.18-mile course is a mix of twists, cambers and elevation changes that make it a fan favorite.The reason it may not hurt his championship hopes rest with the nature of the BSB series. Cadwell Park is the final round of the championship before the three-round, seven-race Showdown, which only the top six riders in the championship qualify for as Title Fighters and which Hopkins previously qualified for. Riders who qualify for the Showdown all start with 500 points, plus their podium points; three for first, two for second and one for third. Hopkins currently has 18 podium points to 21 for Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill and 20 for HM Plant Honda's Shane Byrne. Hopkins will certainly lose a few podium points by sitting out Cadwell Park, but will still start the Showdown third overall. The standard FIM points scoring format continues for The Showdown, with all points scores counting.
"We will, we suspect, lose a few podium points to our rivals in the Showdown, but to race a Superbike at a track such as this when you don't have 100% strength in your throttle and brake hand is simply too dangerous both to the rider and his competitors and would only stand to slow Hopper's recovery from the injury," Samsung Crescent Racing team manager Jack Valentine said.